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Catalog Data

Medium:
Wrought iron
Dimensions:
35 × 20 1/2 × 24 in. (88.9 × 52.1 × 61 cm)
Style:
Regency
Type:
Chairs
Date:
ca. 1880-1910
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Description:
Folding armchair frame made of wrought iron. It was constructed of strap or semi-round rods of iron that were bent to create the frame and decoration. The pad feet and arabesques are typical of this type of furniture in the nineteenth century. It has an arched pediment on the backrest with scrolls, and the arm rests have scroll terminations. The seat and back would have been made from woven cane. The X shape legs have rod stretchers between the fronts and backs for support. To fold up this piece the front and back of the chair come together. Wrought-iron garden furnishings, often with reeded seats, became popular in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century in English parks. Because they were produced before the Industrial Revolution, they were often composed of simple forms made from iron rod that were assembled together. They are often referred to as Regency or Sheraton style. Wrought-iron benches and chairs in slightly modified forms continued to be produced throughout the nineteenth century by a variety of firms. This form of seating is characteristic of the “Campaign” style. It is light weight, compact, and collapsible, making it easily stored and transported. These qualities made this type of furnishing a practical option for military campaigns. These characteristics also made this style of furniture popular for the garden, where it could easily be repositioned based on time of day, seasonally, or for activities. Folding seating was also a convenient temporary use and could be stored out of the way when not needed. There was a great desire for folding furniture in the nineteenth century because it was functional, convenient, and durable. Many designers tried to improve upon designs for folding furniture, and hundreds of patents were granted in the second half of the 1800s. Mass production of these designs meant that they were available to almost every price point. Folding seats were frequently made with folding tables to go with them.
Wrought-iron garden furnishings, often with reeded seats, became popular in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century in English parks. Because they were produced before the Industrial Revolution, they were often composed of simple forms made from iron rod that were assembled together. They are often referred to as Regency or Sheraton style. Wrought-iron benches and chairs in slightly modified forms continued to be produced throughout the nineteenth century by a variety of firms. This form of seating is characteristic of the “Campaign” style. It is light weight, compact, and collapsible, making it easily stored and transported. These qualities made this type of furnishing a practical option for military campaigns. These characteristics also made this style of furniture popular for the garden, where it could easily be repositioned based on time of day, seasonally, or for activities. Folding seating was also a convenient temporary use and could be stored out of the way when not needed. There was a great desire for folding furniture in the nineteenth century because it was functional, convenient, and durable. Many designers tried to improve upon designs for folding furniture, and hundreds of patents were granted in the second half of the 1800s. Mass production of these designs meant that they were available to almost every price point. Folding seats were frequently made with folding tables to go with them.
This form of seating is characteristic of the “Campaign” style. It is light weight, compact, and collapsible, making it easily stored and transported. These qualities made this type of furnishing a practical option for military campaigns. These characteristics also made this style of furniture popular for the garden, where it could easily be repositioned based on time of day, seasonally, or for activities. Folding seating was also a convenient temporary use and could be stored out of the way when not needed. There was a great desire for folding furniture in the nineteenth century because it was functional, convenient, and durable. Many designers tried to improve upon designs for folding furniture, and hundreds of patents were granted in the second half of the 1800s. Mass production of these designs meant that they were available to almost every price point. Folding seats were frequently made with folding tables to go with them.
Label Text:
Garden furnishings, also called outdoor or patio furnishings, are specifically designed for outdoor use. They are typically made of weather-resistant materials such as metal, stone, wood, wicker, and artificial stone. Cast-iron was the most popular material for garden furnishings and accessories from the mid-nineteenth to the early-twentieth century. This was in part due to systems of mass production developed in the Industrial Revolution that allowed outdoor furniture to be readily available and affordable to the public. Throughout the nineteenth century, as leisure activities increased, materials diversified, and technology was embraced, garden furnishings came to be regarded as domestic amenities and reflected changing styles. Outdoor furnishings, such as settees, chairs, fountains, urns, and tables were essential to fashionably appointed lawns, conservatories, parks, cemeteries, and gardens in America.
The garden in the nineteenth century, typical of Victorian style, tended to be excessively ornamental and complex, combining colors, textures, and materials through plants and garden ornaments. Garden furnishings, such as urns, plant stands, tables, and seating, became essential to the overall design. As an extension of the house, the garden required furniture, and outdoor seating found its way onto balconies, verandahs, and porches as well as across lawns and parks. Garden chairs typically had three to four legs, with designs adapted from the most popular styles for garden settees and benches. Armchairs were frequently made with matching side chairs, as well as benches, settees, tables, and consoles all in the same pattern as a suite or furniture for the garden. Designs for garden furniture followed the Victorian taste for eclectic styles and borrowed Classical, Rustic, Gothic, Rococo, Renaissance, and Oriental motifs; or they were chosen to blend with their natural surroundings in Rustic, animal, or botanical forms. Chairs and other furnishings were strategically placed as the focal point or an accessory to create a specific feeling for a setting. Garden furnishings were used on porches and verandahs, as well as throughout the garden, to extend the architecture of the house to the grounds, providing a link between art and nature, manmade and organic. Cast-iron, wrought-iron, and wirework chairs were mostly for use in the garden although some designs were suited for indoor use as well.
Topic:
chairs  Search this
Furniture, Regency  Search this
wrought iron  Search this
armchairs  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
outdoor furniture  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1974.005.002
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq4c33f54e6-19f5-48cf-b599-ce4f9f164f5e
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1974.005.002